Chicago | September 16, 2014 9:00 am

The Fifth Element

By The Editors

The burger has come a long way since old Ray Kroc set up shop in Des Plaines.

They’re doing ramen burgers now. Donut burgers. Even all-black-everything burgers.

But if it’s the divine union of meat, cheese and bun you’re after, the only new burger joint you need is L.A.’s Umami Burger, bringing their legendary “fifth taste” patties to Chicago for the very first time this Thursday.

Yes, they are delicious. Yes, you should probably get in line now.

Because this taste? They pen entire books on this taste.

First love will always be the Original, but the red ribbon goes to the Chicago-exclusive Calabrese Burger, an Italian sausage patty smothered with truffled aioli, house truffle cheese and topped with housemade giard (view the full menu here).

Plus: an off-menu parm-and-cheddar delicacy called Cheesy Tots.

Keep in mind Umami is a full-service sit-down restaurant, and they’ve kept the bar program Chi-centric with a handful of exclusive whiskey-based cocktails. You’ll want the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned — sweet, salty, bourbon-y. Basically, umami in cocktail form.

Umami burgers and umami cocktails?

We’ve come a long way, indeed.

Photos: Sandy Noto